Someplace "Fun" In NYC for Dinner

Something different this time, as I’m traveling with my 22 yr old daughter as she interviews at a couple of grad schools the week after next. She has been to all of the fancy places when visiting us in NYC from upriver and requests someplace ‘fun.’ Just the two of us, Saturday Jan 16 after we fly in from LA. Fun is fine, as long as it is also good. Where do you recommend that we can get in around 9?? Thanks,

If she wants funky and with a quirky waitservice team, I’d suggest La Sirene. The cassoulet is to die for, and the rest of the dishes are excellent, but best of all it’s BYO. If the chef is in he’s lots of fun. Warning: it’s cramped in there, so get ready to get friendly with your neighbor.

On a Saturday, even in January, I’d call ahead. 9pm is still in prime-time. Welcome to the Big Apple!

Chef Jody Williams at Gottino does a wonderful job. Another wine bar in the east village Terroir could be fun. Both offer small plates, wine and bustling but intimate settings. You could do Socarrat Paella Bar for a real communal and upbeat setting. Note, these are informal places which do not offer reservations. Michael White’s Marea is getting ridiculous press, it is fancy but could be worth it. I think any graduate student in their 20’s would dig these places." onclick=“;return false;” onclick=“;return false;” onclick=“;return false;
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Thanks to you both for the suggestions. I’ll leave it to Katie to decide. Best,

You know I didn’t even think of wine bars. If you’re interested in one of the best wine bars in town, then head to Ten Bells. Amazing multinational wine list with an emphasis on small growers (Puzelat, Foillard, etc…), good tapas (French, Italian and Spanish) and a cool atmosphere. It does get a little nutty on the weekend, and you can’t RSVP, but if you want that as opposed to a restaurant it’s a great place.

Doesn’t sound like Mark is really looking for a wine bar per se (and no, I’m not suggesting Per Se). For a 22 year old, I’d look for a young-ish crowd, NOT geeky and, dare I say it, “lively” (i.e. somewhat loud). Off the top of my head:

Nice Matin
Cafe d’Alsace
Most of the Blue Ribbon restaurants
Casa Mono
Five Points
Red Cat
Buenos Aires
Landmarc (Tribeca)

[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]

Seriously, Jorge’s list is good for both high-quality food and “cool” vibe.

Never gets old huh? [middle-finger.gif]

Then just picture Michel’s mandals traipsing around your travertine floors. [tease.gif]

Alice’s Tea Cup on 64th is awesome and a lot of fun for lunch or tea. It is very girly though.


Here are a couple of suggestions.

I think LA has the best sushi around, but there are a couple of places in NYC that can hold there own. One of them is Megu and they have great cooked dishes too. They have 2 locations, one in midtown and one in Tribeca. The food is the same at both, but the Tribeca location has a great vibe and atmosphere that will provide the fun factor you are looking for. The bar is very slick and they make great mixed drinks, which is good in case your daughter is not a wine drinker. If you are around through Tuesday, they have no-corkage that night and 50% off the wines on their list. If you are not traveling with any wine, you can head over to Chambers Street Wines, which is a couple of blocks away and pick up something to drink. They happen to have a very good Riesling selection.

Another suggestion would be to head down to Stone Street in the Financial District. It is a cobblestone street with lots of dining options, most of them owned/co-owned by Harry/Peter Poulakakos. Some of the options include steakhouse (Harry’s - get the ribeye), gourmet pizza (Adrienne’s), Irish Pub with live bands on the weekend (Ullysses) and a wine & whisky Bar (Vintry - Open till 4am, ask for Ivan, tell him I sent you). Harry’s wine collection spans about 100k bottles. He has pretty much everything and most he bought on release. Had it not been for him, I would still be drinking Coors Light. Pricing is pretty good - '90 Beaucastel $250, '82 Gruaud $350.



Thanks everyone for the suggestions. After over an hour sitting on the runway yesterday during the security scare at JFK, Katie ended up chosing Otto, where on entering we both thought the the place was lively and fun, but were unsure about how good the food would be. When the food and wine came, we both quickly decided that Otto was good. So, fun and lively, but also good. Surprisingly so, given prior experience at Lupa. It was a given that the cheeses and salumi would be good, but the fresh white truffle pizza with fresh bufala and lardo was one the best things either of us have eaten in a very long time (and I spent over a month on a gastronomic trip through France and the Rhine a couple of months ago). All washed down with '99 Mascarello Monprivato, which after an hour of air was fantastic. The pizza was so good we canceled the pasta dish we ordered so that we could finish the pizza. Followed by olive oil gelato. A surprisingly good meal. And fun, as ordered. Thanks again.

I like Otto. I thought the wine list was interesting and fairly priced.

And the pizzas are really nice.

Mario is a smart guy.

That lardo pizza is deadly good. Glad you had fun!

Thanks, as always, for your suggestions. I was very surprised by how much we both liked it. That truffle/lardo pizza was very, very good. Figured Otto would be fun and loud, but the dining area was not deafening like the other Batali restaurants. And '99 Monprivato was 1 1/2 times current low-retail (or only 2+ times what I paid for it on release). As Frank wrote above, Batali is a very smart guy. Too bad for us Angelenos that Mozza isn’t close to as good.

Huh? [scratch.gif] [cry.gif]

I often seek and follow Michel’s advice about food and lodging. So I was thanking him for that.

Thank you for the Otto suggestion. As you can tell, we were very happy. [thankyou.gif]

Mark, that’s OK, we taught Jorge all he knows about NYC. neener